NYCO & NYTF To Produce World Premiere Of DEAR ERICH
New York City Opera has announced that it will produce the world premiere of the award-winning jazz composer/pianist Ted Rosenthal's DEAR ERICH. This new jazz opera, to be co-produced with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, will open Wednesday, January 9 and will play four performances only through Sunday, January 13 at the Edmond J. Safra Hall at 36 Battery Place, in lower Manhattan.
DEAR ERICH, the compelling true story of tragedy, love, and redemption, is the first of two world premieres which will be presented this season by New York City Opera, to be followed in June by Iain Bell's STONEWALL. DEAR ERICH will be directed by Mikhaela Mahony, with a libretto by Lesley Rosenthal and Ted Rosenthal, and additional lyrics by Barry Singer, E.M. Lewis, Edward Einhorn, and will feature a cast of nine headed by Jessica Tyler Wright, Glenn Seven Allen, Rachel Zatcoff, and Peter Kendall Clark.
Ted Rosenthal was inspired to write DEAR ERICH when he discovered over 200 letters (subsequently translated by Dr. Peter Schmidt) written in Germany between 1938 and 1941 by his grandmother, Herta Rosenthal, to his father, Erich, a Jewish scholar who escaped to the United States. Set in wartime Germany and Chicago, Rosenthal, a winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, employs the musical idioms of the 1930's and 40's to create this poignant retelling of his own family history - the heartbreaking story of a family's dual fates - a son's journey and new life in the New World, and the cruel demise of his family at the hands of the Nazis which he was powerless to stop.
The performance schedule of DEAR ERICH will be performed Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30pm (opening night); Thursday, January 10 and Saturday, January 12 at 7:30pm; and Sunday, January 13 at 2pm. Tickets, starting at $25, are available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/1002412.
Ted Rosenthal has performed worldwide as soloist, with his trio, and sideman with many jazz greats including Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, James Moody, Bob Brookmeyer and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has also been a featured soloist with several major American orchestras including the Detroit Symphony. Winner of the 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, Rosenthal has released 15 CDs as a leader. His latest, Rhapsody in Gershwin (2014), reached #1 in jazz album sales at iTunes. It features his arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue for jazz trio. A recipient of three NEA grants, Rosenthal also composes music ranging from jazz tunes to orchestral works and ballet scores, including for Alvin Ailey. Rosenthal is a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, and is a published author.
MIKHAELA MAHONY is a Brooklyn-based director of theatre, opera and film. Her credits include Abby Rosebrock's Dido of Idaho (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Verdi's Rigoletto (Chautauqua Institution Festival of Music), and Alanna Coby's Tiny Errors at the End of the Millennium as part of The Syndicated Festival. She created Bohemian Philosophies, based on Puccini's La Boheme; Tightening Screws, based on Britten's opera and Henry James's novella The Turn of the Screw; a new version of Sigmund Romberg's The Student Prince; and a multi-lingual production of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. Summer, her debut as a film director, was an official selection at the Buffalo International Film Festival and Film Columbia in Chatham, NY. She is a frequent collaborator with the playwrights of EST/Youngblood and a volunteer artist with the 52nd Street Project and WIN. Most recently, Mikhaela directed a multi-media exploration of the artist Tina Modotti through a residency at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Jessica Tyler Wright's most recent NYCO appearance was as Vera Donovan in the New York City Premier of Tobias Picker's opera Dolores Claiborne, based on the Stephen King novel of the same title. Previous to Delores Claiborne, Jessica was seen in NYCO's critically acclaimed 2017 production of Candide, reprising the role of Paquette from the 2008 production, (both directed by Hal Prince). Her Broadway credits include John Doyle's Sweeney Todd and Company, MTC's LoveMusik (Hal Prince), and Lincoln Center Theater's War Horse. Off Broadway, Jessica earned a Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Marjorie Taylor in Allegro (Classic Stage Company). She toured the U.S. and Canada with Sweeney Todd and also had a turn as Mrs. Claus in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Atlanta and Dallas. Regional favorites include; Marian in Music Man and Lilli in Kiss Me Kate (MTWichita), KT in Merrily We Roll Along (Cincinnati Playhouse), Grace in Annie (North Shore MT), Irene in Crazy For You (MTWichita and CA Music Circus), Mary Jane in Big River (Papermill), and Kost in Cabaret (CA Music Circus). Her television appearances include "Blue Bloods" with Tom Selleck and a national commercial for Nexium. www.jessicatylerwright.com
Glenn Seven Allen received critical acclaim last season for his performance as Jack Twist in New York City Opera's production of Brokeback Mountain. Often lauded for his dynamic interpretations of heroes and leading men, Mr. Allen was recently hailed by Opera News as an "Edwardian matinee idol, giving by far the most detailed dramatic performance." Last season he reprised his role as Jerome in the Drama Desk-nominated, Off-Broadway production of Di Goldene Kale at the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene, and also appeared there as Oppenheimer in Amerike The Golden Land. He also played the role of Pontius Pilate in Casa Mañana's production of Jesus Christ Superstar, Lt. Cable in South Pacific with Annapolis Opera, and Will in Middlemarch in Spring with Ash Lawn Opera. Mr. Allen has also appeared at New York City Opera in the 2016 production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide and as Il Fauno in Ottorino Respighi's La Campana Sommersa.
Rachel Zatcoff most recently appeared in the role of Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish) Off-Broadway here with The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, directed by Joel Grey. Other select credits include Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera (Broadway), Khanele in The Golden Bride (Off-Broadway), Maria in West Side Story (International Tour), Paquette in Candide with Anchorage Opera, Claire Clairmont in Villa Diodati at The York Theater and Alice in The Secret Garden at Theatre Under the Stars. Rachel made her New York City Opera debut in Candide directed by Hal Prince.
Peter Kendall Clark made his debut with New York City Opera in Candide, directed by Harold Prince. Most recent credits include Friedrich Bhaer in Adamo's Little Women at Opera on the James, Falke in Fledermaus at Syracuse Opera, Donald McCullough's In the shadow of the Holocaust at Alice Tully Hall, Messiah with Helena Symphony, Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied at Chelsea Opera, Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Brooklyn's Grace Chorale, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady at Syracuse Opera, William Schumann's Casey at Bat with the Putnam Chorale, and Carmina Burana with The New Jersey Choral Society. Mr. Clark has made return engagements to New York City Opera, Caramoor Opera, Ashlawn Opera, Syracuse Opera, Belleayre Festival, St. Petersburg Opera, Chelsea Opera, and Skylight Music Theatre. 2018-19 engagements include Harry Easter in Street Scene with Virginia Opera, the Bach b minor Mass with Helena Symphony, and MacHeath in the Threepenny Opera at Syracuse Opera.